Saturday, December 1, 2018

Spaghetti with Clams and a Flight of Adami Prosecco

This month our Italian Food, Wine & Travel group is leading into the holidays with Italian sparkling wines. Italy doesn’t get enough recognition for the quality sparkling wines that are produced throughout the country.  Some of your main sparkling wine producing regions include: 
  • Franciacorta and Oltrepo Pavese Metodo Classico (Lombardy) 
  • Trento DOC (Trentino-Alto Adige)
  • Alta Langa, Moscato d'Asti & Brachetto d'Acqui (Piedmont)
  • Lambrusco (Emilia Romagna)
  • Prosecco (Veneto) 
The Land 
This week I dug into prosecco from the Adami winery located in the Valdobbiadene area of the Veneto.  Prosecco in my opinion can be overlooked for producing high quality wines since the market is saturated with wines that aren’t showcasing what this region can truly produce.  I always recommend to folks that if you want to see what prosecco is really all about one must seek those from the Conegliano Valdobbiadene area, two towns located just north of Treviso.   
To take it a step further there is an area that is considered the “cru” of prosecco which is the subzone of Cartizze.  When I took my Italian wine certification awhile back I was informed that Cartizze is a small production area (about 2.5 acres) and the land is estimated to be worth over a million dollars.  Yowzers!  I wish my acreage at my own home was worth that.  Maybe I need to start growing some prosecco! 
The Grape 
When one says prosecco what you might not realize is that it isn’t an actual type of wine as it is the grape prosecco, also known as glera.  Prosecco is produced via the charmat method in which the secondary fermentation is produced within stainless tanks.  This produces wines that are lighter and more delicate.  The area of Conegliano typically has a warmer climate than that of the Valdobbiadene so the wines have more structure where those of the Valdobbiadene are more delicate and elegant. 
What one may not understand is that a sparkling wine labeled dry is not dry at all.  Here are the levels of sweetness defined from driest to sweetest:  
  • Extra brut 
  • Brut
  • Secco
  • Extra Dry
  • Amabile
  • Dolce
The Winery 
The Adami winery has been around for 90 years and is now in the 3rd generation operating the winery.  It started in 1920 when the grandfather, Abel, purchased a vineyard where he worked with his son Adriano to begin producing wines.  In 1933 Abel did something that was new to the area where he broke off his vineyard from others and created the 1st single vineyard of the Valdobbiadene with his Riva Giardino Asciutto.  In the 80’s the oenologists that took over in the family were Armando and Franco.  They took the winery to the next level making them more international and developing a new facility.   

Today the winery produces about 750,000 bottles and sources their grapes from 50 hectacres where 12 of them are theirs and the others they purchase the grapes from and work closely with the owners of the land.      
The Wines 
My pick of the 3 wines was the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore Dry Vigneto Giardino Rive di Colbertaldo. DOCG.  For those that follow my blog regularly you’ll know I’m not a huge of sparkling wine, so I’ll tend to lean towards the dry level of sparkling wines, but I always appreciate a well made wine when I try them. 
Adami Prosecco Valdobbiadene
Adami Prosecco Treviso Brut “Garbel” DOC 
Locally Garbel means freshness and lightness.   This was a pale straw colored wine that was crisp, with refreshing flavors of lemon and apple.  ABV 11% SRP $15 

Adami Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore Brut “Bosco di Gica” DOCG NV 
The old name of the area was called Bosco di Gica, named after the Gica wood.  A pale straw colored wine with stone fruit on the nose.  On the palate notes of pears with rather creamy bubbles.  The wine finishes strong with a minerally, bright finish.  It’s hard to believe the SRP is only $19.  ABV 11%  

2015 Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore Dry “Vigneto Giardino” Rive di Colbertaldo DOCG 
Rive stands for the steep hillside where the grapes are grown and are further defined by the particular site with the village name, in this case Colbertaldo.  The Giardino vineyard used to be an oak forest in the 400-500's and got replaced by vines and trees.  It was a pale straw color.  When I tried this wine I got a sense of ambrosia with some apple It had good body and an overall nice mouthfeel.  Rather elegant and balanced with a salty, lengthy finish.  ABV 11% SRP $22


The Pairing
I tried these wines with a spaghetti and clams dish I prepared, also know as spaghetti alle vongole.  It's one of my favorite dishes I enjoy ordering in Italy.  The saltiness of the clams and the clam sauce paired really nicely with the wines, especially the Brut style prosecco wines.  I typically don't pair sparkling wines with a dinner, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Sometimes you need to break outside the norm.
spaghetti with clams wine pairing with prosecco
Join the rest of our Italian food and wine lovers articles and if you catch us in time you can chat live on Saturday Dec 1st at 11am EST on Twitter at #ItalianFWT.
 


*All wines were provided by samples, but opinions are my own.